40% of new Covid-19 cases in London are Omicron Variant: report

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Skaters on the rink at the Natural History Museum in central London on December 9, 2021.

Skaters on the rink at the Natural History Museum in central London on December 9, 2021.
Photography: Hollie Adams / AFP (Getty Images)

Approximately 40 per cent of new cases of covida-19 in London consist of a recently discovered variant of omicron, said British Health Minister Sajid Javid, who claimed the star Monday. The news comes at a time when the British public is being urged to procure coronavirus vaccines to strengthen protection against a disease that has killed at least 5.31 million people worldwide.

“Please play your part. This could not be more important, “Javid told Sky News on Monday morning. “We have to win this race against the growth of this virus – they say we have never seen growth like this before.”

“Come forward, protect yourself, your loved ones and your community,” Javid said, urging people to get their reinforcements.

While there are some encouraging signs that omicron might be less deadly than delta strains, there are early signs that it could be more portable. The effectiveness of the vaccine is also a concern for those studying the omicron variant, prompting public health experts to encourage increased doses, especially in colder climates where the disease has risen in recent weeks, including the US, Russia and northern Europe.

The UK reported 48,071 new Covid-19 cases and 52 deaths on Sunday. And while the number of cases has increased significantly, the death rate is nowhere near the last big wave in January and February, when around 1,300 people died every day in the UK.

The US was not so lucky, mainly due to the smaller percentage of the population vaccinated. Approximately 69.5% of people in the United Kingdom have been vaccinated against covid-19, while only 60.7% have been vaccinated in the United States. The U.S. currently has an average of about 119,000 new cases a day and about 1,280 deaths.

The UK has given more than 20 million doses so far, according to the latest data from BBC. But with a population of over 67 million, the UK will likely need to get more boosters if it wants to keep the omicron away. In fact, a new study suggests that January across the UK is likely to be a disturbing new wave of covid-19 driven by omicron.

From BBC:

In the most optimistic scenario, which assumes that Omicron has a weak immune escape and that enhanced injections are very effective, model designs between 1 December and 30 April in England will be:

  • 20.9 million infections
  • 175,000 admitted to the hospital
  • 24,700 deaths

In the most pessimistic scenario, which assumes that Omicron has a high immune escape and that enhancers are less effective, model designs between 1 December and 30 April in England will be:

  • 34.2 million infections
  • 492,000 admitted to the hospital
  • 74,900 deaths

And while no one knows for sure what the omicron wears, it will probably be another harsh winter for Britons who are just trying to get on with their lives and tired of a pandemic that seems like it will never end.

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